Santanu Hazarika: I grew up as a rebel, learnt to channel my voice through art - Hindustan Times
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Santanu Hazarika: I grew up as a rebel, learnt to channel my voice through art

ByAbigail banerji
Feb 17, 2024 10:32 PM IST

Multidisciplinary visual artist Santanu Hazarika looks towards Japanese Manga and heavy metal album artwork from the West for inspiration for his designs

Shoes have now become a fashion statement, an extension of one’s personality. One shoe type that is a clear indicator of your personal style is sneakers. Recently, multidisciplinary visual artist Santanu Hazarika collaborated with a shoe brand and his limited collection, of 300 sneakers, sold out in just one hour after going live on the website.

Santanu Hazarika(Instagram)
Santanu Hazarika(Instagram)

For him, it is “like a childhood dream come true”. He adds, “As an artiste, it was on my bucket list to have my own sneaker line. But I wasn’t expecting it to completely sell out in a few minutes. This has also made me believe in the power of my community.”

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Santanu Hazarika(Instagram)
Santanu Hazarika(Instagram)

Hailing from Guwahati, Assam, Hazarika is a self-taught artist, who creates doodles and is an illustrator. Ask him the inspiration for his collection’s designs and he says, “It was inspired by my unapologetic outlook towards conformity and status quo, and the collaboration unfolds as a visual manifesto. I grew up as a rebel and soon learnt to channel my voice through art, a silent form of the inner scream I had since childhood. I combined my silence and scream in these sneakers.”

The shoes feature elements inspired by heavy metal, punk, and anti-establishment sentiments, along with vivid colours and a “disciplined expression that harmonizes the silence of rebellion with a loud, unapologetic scream”. The shoes feature thorns, a shooting star with an eye, and collar tabs that spell out ‘Silent’ and ‘Scream’.

When Hazarika faces a creative block, he looks towards Japanese Manga illustration and heavy metal album artwork from the West. “Detailed, visceral, beautiful and grotesque” - are the keywords that best describe his style.

Sneakers have given birth to a niche community, the sneaker culture in India is booming with brands coming out with a variety of options and even collaborating with artists to get more people interested and tap their fan bases. To this, he says, “The future lies in the hands of [people like] us who are underdogs of a revolutionary sub-culture and entrepreneurs who give platforms to voices like me. India has a huge market of consumers [who are interested] in a lot of homegrown brands. They understand the consumer base. Bridging the gap between the masses and subculture [community] will create a sustainable ecosystem for the booming sneaker culture.”

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